Women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to confront hunger, ensure nutrition and food security for all//Crimson Tazvinzwa
Today, nearly 821 million people around the world are chronically hungry and over 149 million children under five are stunted. In Mozambique, 70 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day and 80 percent of the population cannot afford an adequate diet. The country also struggles with chronic food insecurity, and the life expectancy is alarmingly low at 58 years – one of the lowest in the world. Women and girls bear the strongest brunt of food insecurity and hunger.
Furthermore, the country is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate shocks and extreme weather events such as drought, floods and cyclones. In March and April 2019, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth both hit Mozambique less than six weeks apart. The cyclones were the equivalent of category 2 and 4 hurricanes, respectively, and devastated local and regional infrastructure and destroyed more than 1.1 million acres of crops and productive land in the region. Cyclone Idai resulted in three million people, including 1.6 million children, in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
On this five-day trip, the delegation witnessed how simple solutions – such as agricultural research and development, nutrition education and creating opportunities to connect small-scale farmers to markets – can empower communities to escape poverty and reach their full potential.
During the trip, the delegation met with partner organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Potato Center, TechnoServe and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), to discuss the current challenges and opportunities in addressing hunger and malnutrition in the region. They also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from USAID and the State Department. Lastly, the delegation sat down with communities to learn about the successes and obstacles they face when it comes to food security, nutrition, education and gender equality.